Hey guys, I'm back. and yes I know, i still have 5 other unfinished stories, but i really wanted to start this. Mainly because i read Enthisiastic Fish's story, and wanted to tell the other side. So I PMed her and asked permission. I've beenworking on it ever since. I don't know when it will be finished, but i think that there will be three more chapters. And yes, i will try to update my other fics ASAP. so, BOLO XD (little NCIS pun) anyways,

Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS. I wish, but i don't. the saddness that is reality :( and the original story idea is Entusiastic Fish's. Read her fic at .net/s/4597876/1/Ascent_from_Tartarus

Descent to Tartarus

Gibbs knew something was wrong.

He just felt it.

From the moment he and Tony had stepped off the plane, he just knew it. There was just something in the DC air that made Gibbs' gut churn.

Scenarios kept running through his head all the way through baggage claim, each one worse than the previous. By the time he and Tony reached the lobby, his heart was thudding with anxious anticipation, fueled fervently by his gut.

They quickly located Kate. As Tony ran to meet her, Gibbs followed slightly behind, studying her as he walked. At first glance, nothing had changed. But as she smiled at them, it looked strained. There were slight worry lines on her face that had not been there two weeks ago, and her eyes had a harder look that bespoke that she had seen much suffering.

"Kate!" Tony called as her ran towards her, "did ya miss me?"

Gibbs smiled to himself, watching Tony wait eagerly for Kate's response. The LA 'babes' had not been as receptive towards Tony as he had anticipated. It seemed that most of them had not been fond of the term 'babe' in the first place.

"Yes DiNozzo, I did."

Tony stopped, looking taken aback, "you did?"

"Yes, I missed the entertainment value. You know how much money I waste on comedies when you're not around to watch? It's much more economical to have you home."

Gibbs chuckled. Tony scowled at her and promptly changed the subject.

"So what, the Probie-San didn't come along to welcome his fearless leaders home? Or did you gals choke him with your estrogen?"

Kate's smile slipped.

Gibbs hoped he had imagined it.

"Actually," she started, "there's something I need to tell you."

Tony's smile dissolved, revealing a worried expression. Gibb's gut nudged him as if to say, "I told you so."

"What happened Kate?"

Kate looked around at all of the people surrounding them greeting loved ones or saying tearful goodbyes.

"Not here. Wait until we get to the car."

They made their way across the perilous parking lot in silence, located the sedan, loaded the bags into the trunk, and climbed in. Kate slid into the driver's seat, and Gibbs didn't protest or pull rank on her. This has to be bad, Tony thought as he watched from the back seat, unconsciously glancing at the vacant seat that should have held Tim.

Gibbs waited until Kate had turned the key in the transmission before starting bluntly.

"What happened?"

Kate stared at the maze of cars thoughtfully for a few moments before replying.

"About four days after you left, there was an incident."

"What kind of incident?" Gibbs questioned.

Kate paused again, pondering the best way to break the news. She decided to start from the beginning.

"So, you know how we were investigating the murder of that JAG?"

"Yeah Kate, I know. Now tell me something I don't know"

"Well, we caught the guy."

"Yeah, great for you, but what happened to McGee?"

Kate ignored Gibbs and continued on with the story.

"So to celebrate that night, we all went out to dinner."


"Paula, Faith…"


"Lt. Commander Coleman. So it was Paula, Faith, myself, and Tim."


Kate spared Gibbs an exasperated look. He ignored her. He just wanted to know what had happened to his agent and who's ass he had to kick. Kate sighed and continued,

"I'm getting there. So anyways, we all went to dinner and afterward we all split up to go home. Paula and I split a cab, Faith drove, and Tim headed to the bus stop."

"Damn it Kate, do we need every little detail?!"

As the pulled up to a red light Kate turned to look Gibbs in the eyes.

"If I leave anything out now, I'll have to re-explain it all later when you will be asking me these questions"

Gibbs processed what she had said and motioned for her to move on as the light turned green.

Kate gave him one last glance before continuing, "so we all went home. But as soon as I got home, I just felt like something was wrong." She chuckled remembering, "I thought that maybe your gut had been transferred to me while you were gone" she then sobered as she moved on, "so at about 01:28 I received a call from Bethesda."

Gibbs looked at her attentively, "What happened?"

She drew a deep breath before responding, savoring the last moment before they knew the atrocious truth and became as consumed by vengeance as she was now,

"McGee had been found, about a block from the restaurant, just around the corner from Faith's car, brutally beaten. The found him at the head of an alley that he had apparently crawled out of, soaked in blood, bruised, multiple contusions, flail chest, pulmonary contusion, broken ribs, pneumothorax, internal bleeding", she listed off the things she had read on his chart, staring straight at the road so she didn't have to see their faces. She took a deep breath before finishing, "… well, he was a mess, barley alive."

Tony mulled this over in his head. Barely alive. Damn, he left the Probie alone for two weeks…

Gibbs took was silent as he processed. McGee. The green agent. HIS agent. The agent that HE had hand picked and trained for the past six months. During the two weeks that he was gone. He was never gone. There was a reason for it. He should have been there, well, here, DC, not LA He hated LA the smoggy city air and clogged pavement. And the palm trees. He hated palm trees, they were just so unnatural. He should not have been there with the tourists and god awful palm trees. He should have been here. It wouldn't have happened if he had been here, where he belonged.

Kate watched and waited silently as the two men processed the information. Tony's face was pale, and his eyes creased with worry. She knew he was concerned for McGee. As much as Tony may hate to admit it, they were close. Put your life on the line with someone everyday and after a while you can't help but to become close. Yet when one of those people's lives actually came closer to the line, it was unnerving. Gibbs on the other hand…Kate thought as she studied the lead agent. Well, she thought after a while, it's pretty obvious. He blamed himself. He would work at it until he found a way where it actually made sense how he could have stopped it had he been here and not in LA.

Tony broke the silence,

"So, did you catch the bastard?" he asked, avoiding the question he really wanted to ask, but afraid of the answer he might receive in return.


"How many?"

"Four in total. The two that actually attacked him, the one who asked them to, and the one who tried to finish the job."

Tony looked at her in the rearview mirror.

"Finish the job?" he asked incredulously. But he secretly breathed a sigh of relief. His unasked questioned had been answered. If they had had to 'finish the job', then it couldn't have been done in the first place.

Gibbs finally spoke, "And you didn't think that we needed to know any of this Kate?"

Kate looked at Gibbs calmly.

"Gibbs, if I had told you, you would have packed up and headed straight home."

"Yeah, I would have. And I would have brought DiNozzo with me."

"But you didn't need to. I could handle this, we could handle this."

"I would have wanted to catch the bastards."

"Why do you think we caught them? Do you seriously think that there was any possible way that I would have not wanted revenge? You didn't see him, Gibbs. There was no way that anyone that knew him could see him and not want revenge."

Gibbs was silent again, a silence that seemed to emanate that he had forgiven Kate. The car settled in to a comfortable silence until Tony mustered up the courage to ask another question of which he was dreading the answer.

"So, how is he?"

"Well, you can see for yourself." Kate replied as she pulled into the visitors' lot at Bethesda.